New Katz Gluten Free Grab ‘N’ Go Bagels & Donuts

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Every mommy-to-be has her go to favorites to fill those pregnancy cravings. Katz Gluten Free saw me through two pregnancies and all of those times between. It’s no secret they’re a favorite for me. They’ve captured my heart on the sweet side that’s for sure, with my pastry favorite Chocolate Buns, the delicate Sprinkle Cookies just like I used to get from an Italian bakery,  and the cupcakes, oh my, picture perfect Chocolate Cupcakes iced with chocolate frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. And so much more! But they don’t just do sweets, their bagels have always held a sweet spot with me too! They were the first to offer this gluten free mommy a gluten free Everything Bagel that could rival even it’s gluten competitors.

So when I heard that Katz Gluten Free was coming out with a Grab ‘N’ Go line with donuts and bagels I had to check them out. Could it be that my favorites were going to be packed and ready to go for a busy mom out the door? All of us gluten free folks are well versed on bringing along our own meals and/or snacks to any and all events. Katz makes our lives so much easier with this now. The benefits with these delicacies wrapped in individual portions are endless. I’m thinking vacations! I love that these will make those weeks away a breeze. Ahem, not to mention those early morning flights to Disney that can now start with a fresh powdered donut or egg sandwich on a bagel. Love it!

The best part, these individual portions are kept so fresh in their wrapping! Nice soft powdered donuts ready to be enjoyed as a quick breakfast or treat at a school party. Plain bagels that are perfect to throw in your bag for lunch or bring along to put together a breakfast sandwich at a restaurant. Hey, we can all totally admit that we’ve brought our own bread and put together our own burgers, sandwiches, and beyond, right? Well if you haven’t, you will with these! 

Admittedly, I was slightly disappointed by the size of the plain bagel. I’ve purchased their regular bagels in their plain and everything flavors for years and they’ve always been biger bigger but don’t let the size deter you. The convenience, texture, and flavor speak for themselves and are on my list of must gets before our Disney vaca in a few months!

Interested in Katz’s Grab ‘N’ Go line, check out all they have to offer here!

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Cheers To Full Baby Bellies No Matter What’s In Those Bottles! My Tips For Formula Feeding!

With our breastfeeding days far behind us now, and our little girl fast approaching 8 months, we’ve definitely hit our formula stride. Formula feeding is definitely easier in some ways but way more expensive and a bit less convenient in others (i.e. when Mommy and her girls venture out alone for a morning of errands and fun and forgets to bring along a lunchtime bottle because she didn’t anticipate that long of a morning, yeah that’s what I mean). Even though you don’t tote along an endless milk supply anymore to prevent uh-oh moments like those, the plus no more pumping, no more thawing, no more freezing, and no more endless stress and worry on this Mommy. I know that the formula is doing its job for my little one and I no longer have the fear of whether my milk is healthy enough, filling enough, if I fed her enough, and so on and so on. 

I am a total advocate for breastmilk don’t get me wrong but for so many mothers it’s just not in the cards. Sadly for so many breastfeeding can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle rather than a blissful experience. And when it comes down to it I’d rather feed my baby formula than have her go hungry if my milk supply is too low. Now that we’re full time formula and food eaters I know that my little girl is full because she’s thriving everyday and growing like a weed. She’s as adorable as they come, strong as a baby bull, and so very smart, so for this little girl (and her big sister too), formula does a baby good.  

Just choosing your formula and figuring out that feeding road can be a task and a half though. With our second little girl we stuck with the same formula that worked for our first which thankfully made her sister equally as happy. But picking out the formula to how to introduce and finally figuring out how much to give can be really tough so I wanted to share some of my tips as a 2 time half breastfeeding/ formula mom.

Step 1, Picking Your Formula

No kidding, there are about fifty different options of formula out there, so where do you start? We always make big decisions like these through the pediatrician. Always start there. See what they recommend, they know your child’s health the best. Don’t be offended, yes we know our babies the best but they know how their systems work and what they need to be the healthiest inside and out. Our pediatrician recommended Gerber Good Start and for us both babies took to it immediately! We’re using Gerber Good Start Gentle most recently which is most similar to breastmilk, nutrient wise.

Step 2, Introducing Your Very First Formula Bottle

This can either go fantastic, eh okay, or be a total no go. My advice, be patient, heed the advice of your pediatrician, and save your frozen breastmilk for this time. Our ped recommended to mix breastmilk and formula when you first offer and gently shift the proportion OR go straight to formula and see what happens.

We did it both ways. With our first baby girl she was so tiny when we had to start formula so we were even more cautious and did half and half. With out second baby girl, she was twice her sister’s age, a whopping 4 months, so we figured we’d give the straight formula a try. Yay for us because she loved in since Day 1. A little suspicious at first but never turned it down. My advice, try straight formula first (unless advised by the doctor not to do so), then try half and half or less formula, and then if baby still isn’t a fan try another formula. Very tough to find the magic formula and make the transition but you will, be patient.

Step 3, How Much? How Often?

Isn’t this the unanswered question that’s plagued mothers for ages. And just so you know, no number that anyone gives you works for all. Every baby really is different. Every pediatrician will tell you that they’ll stop when they’re full but I can tell you both of my girls would’ve drank 10 oz bottles from the start if they could. So we tried it out with 4-5 oz about 5 times a day which seemed to do the trick for the most part. Our little girl was a colic baby from the start, not to mention a non-pacifier baby too, so fussiness was always very hard to distinguish from hunger. But I’m happy to say whatever we were feeding her and the amount seemed to pacify her because soon enough we were out of the over fussy stage and onto just normal baby fussy. 

Feeding babies is tough, no matter how you do it. But with formula, it’s all about trial and error from the start and the downside is it can be very pricey. When they’re available though, coupons will be your best friend, yes $3 can make a huge difference when you’re going through two formula containers a month. Also if you pick a formula your pediatrician recommends they more than likely have samples of those so ASK! Every time you go for your baby check ups ASK for samples, any free bit is a blessing. 

Best of luck formula mommies and babies! Cheers to full baby bellies no matter what’s in those bottles!

Two half breastfed/ formula bed girls loving the Northeast Blizzard of 2016. Well, one more than the other!

Two half breastfed/ formula fed girls loving the Northeast Blizzard of 2016. Well, one more than the other!

Sincerely, 

Lindsay

 

 

It’s Official, We’ll Always Be A Disney Family!

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It’s official, we’re now members of Disney’s Vacation Club! It’s no secret that Disney World is our want-to-be home so it just made sense for us to make it officially our home away from home. We couldn’t love Disney more for all of the memories that it’s given us over the last few years and we can’t wait for so many more to come. And, I personally can’t wait for the many, many more gluten free dishes that I get to enjoy (and share with you!!). I may have already planned on some gluten free beignets next vaca!

And even more exciting, we’ve booked our first vacation as a family of four. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce our sweet new baby girl to Disney World for the very first time this Spring. And now the countdown’s on until we hear that familiar “Welcome Home,” but this time as new DVC members! 

Have A Magical Day,

Lindsay

“Here Mommy, Here,” Sharing Words That Are Not So Magical To A Gluten Free Mommy’s Ears #MommyProblems

A beautiful sight to be seen, when your little girl shares for the first time. Our not so baby girl is a sharing machine in her toddler years. Always making sure Mommy, Daddy, and her sweet sister, and let’s not forget her furry sister, are well taken care of, a tall order for such a small little girl. Her big little heart amazes me more everyday with just how giving a little person she can be, sometimes maybe a little too generous though.

Besides the colds we all shared since the New Year, yay 2016!, my toddler is oh too generous when it comes to her meals too. Not a meal or snack goes by without her offering up a morsel from her plate, most of the time being her favorite things too. Most mommies would cheer in excitement that their lessons of sharing are paying off! Yes I’m thrilled my little girl knows how to and loves sharing. And I hate having to turn down every offer all because I’m gluten free.

Early on our dietary difference wasn’t that difficult but as my girls started eating, my hands became dried and cracked from so much washing and oh yeah, my 3 year old daughter has learned that her mommy is gluten free. Raising two non-gluten free girls when you’re very much so gluten free means you’re in store for a couple challenges. First up, the excessive handwashing. I’m already an excessive handwasher, germophobia and all, but just picture this, gluten snack, wash, baby cereal prep, wash, and dinner time, well you might as well just leave the water running the whole prep time.

Next, the constant worry of cross contamination, hence the hand washing. Do I think twice when my daughter wants to hold my hand after digging her little fingers into a delicious gluten filled snack? Yup I do, I try to steer clear of gluten in any way, shape, or form, even on her sweetly miniature fingers. Another favorite, when she tries to give me a kiss during meal time and it just so happens to inadvertently land on my unexpected lips. I suddenly go into panic mode thinking about the crumbs that might’ve been sitting on her gluten lips. Yup, I’m that paranoid but any other gluten free mommy out there can understand. 

My favorite obstacle though for a partially gluten free family is that whole sharing thing that might just be a little overrated. Sure I want my girls to share, toys okay, clothes sure, basically everything else but food, at least with their mommy. It’s a terrible feeling turning my generous giver down time and time again, almost to see disappointment on her face after the millionth offer rejection. And yeah, that feeling is 100% mutual, there’s nothing like saying no thank you with a smile as your sweet little girl is offering her coveted goldfish, cookie, or worse, piece of birthday cake. My first and worse no thank you had to be at my toddler’s first birthday party when she offered her cake covered hand to me for a taste. It was the first time we saw her giving spirit and it was to me! Since she was very persistent Daddy stepped in to have a taste, but little did I know that would the first of many less than enjoyable gluten free mommy moments.

These days she’s not shoving cake fingers in my face but instead dangles gluten filled crackers, goldfish, cookies, bites of sandwich, you name it, she’s offered it and with insistence too. “Here Mommy, here,” as she dangles the morsel inches from my face, to which I politely say no thank you, only to have her insist that I try it again and again. And no surprise, after years of no thank yous I knew my intuitive little one would pick up on the fact that Mommy eats differently and rarely accepts her generous offers. Yup, my 3 year old, she was actually 2 when I first heard her say it, knows that her Mommy eats gluten free. She’s actually held up a snack and said “Here Mommy, it’s gluten free.” My little miniature is turning into quite the gluten free advocate and thankfully is still sharing up a storm!

I’ve on many occasions thought about a life where I’m not the only gluten free one in our house, but my girls, and maybe my husband, were too. It would be easier in so many ways sure but for so many reasons they aren’t and won’t be unless medically necessary. Being gluten free for me is out of medical need, it’s not optional, and as long as my girls can tolerate gluten, for however long that may be, they’ll be enjoying every bit of it, or at least for the 50% of the time they ingest it since I only bake and cook for the most part gluten free around here. This lifestyle is expensive and very limiting and to be fair, if they can enjoy food for what it is now I wouldn’t want to rob them of that. So for now, I’ll stay the gluten free mommy while everyone else enjoys their gluten. I’ll ward off the gluten snacks, pasta, and bread around me like the plague. And I’ll politely duck out of the generosity of my girls even if it breaks my heart to do it. #MommyProblems #GlutenFreeMommyProblems

Girls

Sincerely,

Lindsay 

 

Linked Up Today On My Favorite Let’s Talk Mommy!

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Check out my Sweet Baby Girl’s 3rd Birthday & The Amazing New Gluten Free Study linked up on my favorite blog, Let’s Talk Mommy! These are two of my recent favorite posts that fit nicely with the countless other amazing link ups. So head over to Let’s Talk Mommy and check them out!

Sincerely, 

Lindsay

Christmas 2015 Came And Went But Not Without Leaving Plenty Of Memories Behind

Christmas 2015 came and went. It’s always so sad to me when Christmas is over. We love every second of the holiday season and when it finally comes, it seems like we blink and it’s done. Well, here we are in the first full week of January and Christmas is already two weeks ago. And even though the Christmas decorations have been packed up and put away, not without plenty of protest on my part though, I can’t help but still feel that Christmas glow as I glance through Christmas pics.

It was the perfect first Christmas as a family of four. Our 3 year old loved every bit of it and really understood the Christmas fun this year, while our 6 month old just loved being snuggled and watching the train under the tree. It was really magical experiencing this holiday season with two little ones, I just had to share some of my favorite moments!

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And even though I’m kind of sad that Christmas is over, I suppose we can always start counting down until Christmas 2016. Eh maybe no countdown until we’re under 6 months, for now we’re just going to enjoy the memory making months ahead of us filled with Mommy and Daddy’s birthdays, more holidays, a very special first Disney vaca for our baby girl, and our sweet baby’s first birthday!  

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Is It A Gluten Free Future For My Girls? Alessio Fasano’s New CDGEMM Study Could Tell Us!

The hardest part of being a parent by far is the constant worrying. I’m a big worrier as is but when it comes to my girls, my mama bear mode kicks in and my worrying goes to a whole new level. I think I share the same concerns that every parent has for their children. Of course the obvious ones regarding their health and happiness. But as a parent with health issues that can surely be genetic, I can speak from personal experience that not a moment goes by when I don’t worry about what tomorrow will look like for them. 

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I’m one of the lucky parents though. On both of my girl’s birth days, they were born healthy. They cried loud, fragile little cries with ten fingers and ten toes, both weighing in at healthy 8 pounds and some ounces. For those first moments of motherhood I was able to breathe a sigh of relief, little did I know it would be my last one for the rest of their lives. You see what I’ve realized since their births is that you never know what tomorrow will hold for your kids, just as I haven’t for myself. And while we’ve been lucky with only minor issues here and there with both girls, I catch myself watching them like time bombs.

I find myself praying constantly that my girls won’t face the same health challenges that I have. And while eating gluten free might not seem like the worst of challenges it’s the years of damage and pain that I went through that I hope they will be spared. I spent too many years just getting through each day, not enjoying life and I can only hope that they can avoid that. Since I can’t predict the future though I’m stuck here worrying, praying, and crossing my fingers and toes that they’ll get Daddy’s genes when it comes to this one. 

Thankfully though, along with all of my hoping, we’re starting to see movement in this area of research thanks to Dr. Alessio Fasano, who’s taking huge steps to help the futures of little ones like my own. 

Dr. Fasano and his team at the Center for Celiac Research over at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) are working in collaboration with the Celiac Program at Harvard Medical School to better identify, predict, and ultimately prevent the development of celiac disease. This kind of study is just what I’ve been hoping for and exactly what our children need for their future. To figure out their risk of developing the disease and hopefully prevent it down the road would be a massive improvement for the quality of life of many of our kids. Even though I’m not officially a diagnosed celiac, many of my relatives have celiac or another auto-immune disease so even without the official label myself, which is more than likely there just wasn’t tested for, I consider my kids at risk for someday classifying themselves as celiacs too. The good news, with the help of celiac parents everywhere, the Celiac Disease Genomic Environmental Microbiome and Metabolic Study (CDGEMM) could help change the future for our children. 

Want to learn more and how you can participate?

What is the ultimate goal of the CDGEMM study? This is a prospective, observational, and multi-center, international study that will follow infants until they reach five years of age. With a child’s genetics and environmental conditions and more they’ll be able to identify the how these factors can contribute to celiac development. And with those contributions, they’ll be able to predict who will develop celiac before it actually happens. Sounds like a huge win for future and maybe eventually current celiacs everywhere!

Who can enroll?The CDGEMM study is enrolling infants under 6 months of age who have a parent or sibling who has diagnosed celiac. You can even enroll if you’re currently pregnant too! No worries about location either. This study is international and your participation is as simple and convenient as from your own home and local pediatrician. 

What does participation in the study entail? Children will be tested for celiac auto-antibodies every 6 months throughout the duration of the study. Also, genetic tests will be performed to check to see if your child carries celiac-compatible genes. 

To learn even more about this groundbreaking study by Dr. Fasano, head over to http://www.CDGEMM.org or email CDGEMM@mgh.harvard.edu with any questions.

Also like CDGEMM on Facebook (Center for Celiac Research) and follow them on Twitter (@CeliacDoc or @CeliacResearch).

There’s no question in my mind that this study will change the future for all celiacs and those suffering from gluten intolerance. I’m so grateful for this study and am hopeful that it will brighten the lives of many of my fellow gluten free individuals and their families!

Sincerely,

Lindsay

 

 

It’s Christmas At VitaMom!

There is everything Christmas and mommy going on over on VitaMom today and tomorrow. From announcing pregnancies or gender reveals a Christmas way and favorite gifts from your little ones to delicious gluten free mom-to-be friendly Christmas mocktails and advice for hosts to gluten free guests. So much for every mom or mom-to-be out there! Please head over here and check out my favorite holiday pieces!

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Sincerely,

Lindsay

Merry Christmas All!

It’s officially Christmas time! Our cookies are baked, our presents are wrapped, and my dear husband is en route home for a winter break. This time of year is special for so many reasons but most of all because we get to share it together. And this year, we’re plus one more little girl!  Christmas (2)

So from our family to yours,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lindsay

Christmas Cookies Just Like From When You Were Little, Only Gluten Free!

Christmas music, wrapping presents, admiring Christmas lights, and my favorite, baking Christmas cookies, an amazing weekend before Christmas and I can officially say we’re all set for Santa’s big arrival. We had a little mini baking session last week, just Mommy and her girls baking some super tasty Gluten Free Peanut Butter And Chocolate Sandies but we decided to wait for Daddy for round 2 with a family favorite, cutout cookies. But can I just say how delicious these Sandies turned out! Soft, melt in your mouth, deliciousness with my favorite peanut butter/chocolate combo. While I’d like to pat myself on the back for making these balls of holiday goodness while calming a teething baby and washing, rewashing a toddler’s sticky fingers, I have to give plenty of credit to the star of these cookies, Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour. Thanks to them these cookies looked, felt, and tasted EXACTLY like the Christmas cookies of my childhood, only these were 100% gluten free! Christmas (10)

In years past we’ve made Christmas cookies only for Daddy and daughter, strictly off limits for Mommy. When 66% of my family was okay with gluten, my daughter being one of them, I decided it was best for the time being to stick with the gluteny cookies (also most price conscious too). Since I spend many an hour in the kitchen with my little girl by my side these days, I’ve watched just how much cross contamination is possible from her little hands to my gluten free food or gluten free cooking utensils, very scary. So to save Mommy from any possible glutening we decided the family is going partially gluten free, at least at home that is. For our baking future, we’ll be doing only gluten free baking, with only gluten free flour flying around, which gives me a little relief I have to admit.

So with our now majority gluten free house I was on a mission this year to make the best gluten free Christmas cookies. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill our Peanut Butter Chocolate Sandies were just that, gluten free without them being obviously gluten free (hey, the stereotype can be very accurate). Now onto a Christmas staple, Gluten Free Cutout Cookies, and I’m happy to report these turned out just as delicious and pretty as they look. And did you happen to notice anything Disney? Yup, we started fresh this year with brand new cookie cutters and as a special treat to our junior baker we let her pick out her favorites. Not surprising, Disney/Christmas won!

These, along with the Sandies, are always family favorites. Rolling cookie dough into balls or making special shaped cookies that are screaming for tasty decorations, the appeal for all kids and kids at heart is kind of obvious. So with the help of miniature, freshly washed hands we mixed up the batter and started rolling, cutting, cooking, and repeat. The mixer and cutting parts were fun but a favorite by far was decorating. Daddy picked out our little girl’s favorite icings and some festive sprinkles and let her creativity take over. And even though more icing may have made it’s way into her mouth than on the cookies, the end result, these adorable Christmas cookies that were oh so festive and just screamed my little girl’s name! Christmas (7)

Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour, this year I’ve been able to taste some of my favorite holiday flavors from years past and share these with my very excited toddler. Baking Christmas cookies was the perfect ending to our weekend and a fantastic start to Christmas week. Now onto a week filled with last minute preparations and one more round of cookie baking, Pizzelles! Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope this holiday is plenty merry and oh so bright for each and everyone of you!

Sincerely, 

Lindsay

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